Official London Grenfell fire toll at 79, say police

Postado Junho 20, 2017

The fire engulfs the Grenfell Tower apartment building.

The fire ripped through the high-rise early Wednesday. Attention has focused on materials used during the renovation process completed a year ago.

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland). People demonstrate demanding answers over the Grenfell Tower fire, in London, Friday June 16, 2017.

Clement's Church near Grenfell Tower.

Fifty-eight people are missing and presumed dead in the Grenfell Tower disaster, the officer in charge of the investigation has said.

The cause of Wednesday's blaze is still under investigation, but anger has mounted in the community amid reports that exterior panelling may have helped to fan the flames. Hands cautioned that officials dont yet have exact details about the renovation that ended just previous year.

"We are supporting the families and the loved ones of each of those 79", Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Candy said in a statement.

He said five of the dead had been formally identified, and it would be a slow and painstaking task to identify the others because of the intensity of the fire. "There is also a real possibility that there may be people in the building that no one knows are missing", he added.

The previous figure was 58.

Labour Party lawmaker David Lammy demanded that the government and police immediately seize all documents relating to Grenfells renovation to prevent the destruction of evidence that could show criminal wrongdoing. Composing himself, he said "It's fair to say it is incredibly emotional working in there".

Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday promised a public inquiry into a fire that gutted a 24-floor apartment block, as the government faced questions about how such a devastating blaze could have occurred. He expects the operation to last "many, many weeks".

More than 3 million pounds ($3.8 million) has been raised for the victims, and the British government has announced a 5 million-pound ($6.3 million) emergency fund.

May said after the meeting Saturday that there have been "huge frustrations" in the community as people tried to get information.

He said five people who had been reported missing in the fire had now been found safe and well. Cundy stopped short of suggesting what crimes exactly they were looking into, but he did assert that there was "nothing to suggest the fire was started deliberately".

Cundy explained that one of the reasons identification has been so hard is because dental records are needed from victims who hailed from different countries around the world. They say they will also use visual elements like tattoos and scars, in the painstaking process.

The tragedy cast a pall on the Trooping the Color festivities that mark the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.

Writing in the Observer newspaper, Khan says it may well be the "defining outcome of this tragedy that the worst mistakes" of that era become a thing of the past.

The 91-year-old monarch said it is "difficult to escape a very somber mood" on what is normally a day of celebration.